Monday, March 01, 2010

Just a Spelling Lesson

Quite a few readers have emailed me comments on my new paper Spreading the Wealth Around: Reflections Inspired by Joe the Plumber.  I appreciate the input.

The most frequent comment is to point out an alleged error: "just deserts" should be "just desserts," I am told.

So here I am with a spelling lesson: In the expression just deserts, the word deserts means that which one deserves.  It may be pronounced like the sweet things you eat after a meal, but it is spelled like the spans of dry land.

For example, consider this dialogue:
Father: If you eat all your vegetables, Bobby, you can have a cookie and ice cream after dinner.

Bobby: Will you also pay me a dollar, Daddy?

Father: No, Bobby.  If you eat all your vegetables, your just deserts are just desserts.
By the way, another reader points out that yesterday's Doonesbury is related to the topic of Just Deserts Theory.